pirates of the Caribbean 5

Disney held to ransom by hackers over stolen copy of Pirates of the Caribbean 5

Disney is being blackmailed by hackers who have allegedly stolen a copy of the upcoming film Pirates of the Caribbean 5 and are threatening to release it online before its cinema debut unless a ransom is paid.

The company has so far refused to comply with the hacker’s demands and are working with the FBI in order to get their hands on the group.

According to Bob Iger, the studio’s CEO, segments of the film will be released online over time unless the ransom, to be paid in bitcoin, is paid. However, there doesn’t appear to be proof yet that hackers have access to the film.

They apparently threatened to release five minutes of the film followed by 20-minute chunks until Disney paid up.

Although Iger did not divulge which film was stolen, Deadline.com said it was Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the latest installment of the franchise starring Johnny Depp, which is not due to reach theatres until 25 May 2017.

Hackers have also reportedly targeted Hollywood agencies such as UTA, ICM and WME.

In 2014 hackers paralysed Sony Pictures and demanded the studio cancel distribution of The Interview, a comedy about a plot to assassinate North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un.

More recently, the upcoming season of Orange is the New Black was stolen from distributors Netflix. When the company failed to pay the requested ransom they released it online.

Private companies and public services around the world are still recovering from the impact of Friday’s international cyber-attack.

The malware was found to exploit a vulnerability identified by the US National Security Agency (NSA) which provoked a debate over who is responsible for the cyber attack.

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